This summer I was fortunate enough to be able to go on a variety of pilgrimages.When I met
my husband he told me he was super into visiting baseball parks and wanted to visit every
states famous team park so we started going to some in the midwest. Initially when I met him I was fallen away from the church but little inklings of me were still interested and I had heard of Saint Dymphna as the patron saint of anxiety and asked if we could stop by her national shrine in Ohio on the way to one of his ballparks and so we did. Unfortunately it literally burned down the week before we visited (it is currently fixed as of 7/31/17)*so we didn’t get to see much but that was the start of the madness :pI am now no longer fallen away and this summer I packed it with
Last year, we went to Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, Wisconsin and I was instantly in love (the first and currently only Marian approved apparition site in the US). So this summer we went back and we made it to so far 14 or 15 other churches and shrines in the process! I will give you a little snippet about each of them and list their names and
locations so if any of you are interested or live semi near them I encourage you to visit (you won’t be disappointed)! For me it helps me to renew my faith when I am in a place of peace and
prayer like most shrines offer ;) Here we go (not in any particular order except the first is my
*Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help - Champion, Wisconsin - beautiful grounds, oratory,
chapel, and of course the only Marian approved apparition site in the US
*Our Lady in the Woods, Mio Michigan - outdoor shrine with indoor church
*Shrine of All Saints St.Martha Church, Morton’s Grove, Illinois - over 1700 relics
(including the blessed mother’s hair) are present here. It will for sure blow your mind! Fr.
Dennis offers a tour and is very sweet. Relics from very well known saints to saints I’d
never even heard of! I strongly recommend stopping here if you get the chance! (this
would be my second favorite)
*Sorrowful Mother Shrine in Ohio - beautiful grounds with chapel, stations of the cross,
multiple outdoor Marian statues and Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine Mary town in Illinois - shrine to St. Max Kolbe - beyond amazing! (perhaps a tie with my second favorite ;)) it features a museum dedicated to him along with a beautiful church and grounds - the stations of the cross are particularly lovely! If you love St. Max this is a must see! It’s about 45min-1hr from Chicago too so if you want to see the city it’s not far at all!
*Chapel of Our Lady of Orchard Lake on St. Mary’s Prep school grounds - Orchard Lake,
MI - lovely grounds to walk around on with a nice chapel and significant relics for St.
John Paul II
*Marian Center in Joy Valley in Petoskey, MI - beautiful grounds again, more statues than
I’ve ever seen in one place (besides a gift shop), because of the lady that started the
facility. Absolutely beautiful statue of Our Lady of Tihaljina (one of my fav images of
Mama Mary and I’d never seen it before in person!) - many relics as well
*St Anne’s Catholic Church - Mackinac Island, MI - beautiful chapel on the island with a
museum and gift shop - so much history (the island is very quaint too with no cars!)
Gorgeous statues next to the altar of St. Anne and St. Joseph (his is particularly sweet
*Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe - Des Plaines, IL -magnificent outdoor shrine with St.
Juan Diego and Our Lady it is breathtaking! Many reported miracles and beautiful
grounds with multiple statues (also a huge favorite of mine -one of my top three)! If
you’re in the area it can’t be missed! It is located close to the Shrine of All Saints (about
20 minutes of each other)
*St Joseph Shrine on St. Norbert’s campus in Wisconsin - a little gem you may have
never known was there! Features a gorgeous shrine and chapel to St. Joseph on the
college campus that is very peaceful!
*Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame Indiana Campus - stunning basilica
with gorgeous artwork and architecture - HUGE golden tabernacle surrounded by angels
and saints - gorgeous shrine to Mother Mary - the campus grounds are just beautiful
anytime of year to visit!
*St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Wisconsin - beautiful cathedral, special Lourdes shrine
tucked away in the corner of the cathedral, relics of St. Francis Xavier on display!
*Our Lady of Consolation Basilica and national shrine in Carey, Ohio - tucked away in
the countryside is this stunning basilica! Many healings have occurred here and the left
over crutches are proof! Again one of my top favorites of the summer! Huge church,
huge chapel, and outdoor park/gardens to walk through. Another gem on site (my
particular favorite) is the original old church they still have mass in too! They use the
basilica but also the old church and if you like history or appreciate the good old day’s
this is just a gem that you must see :) It’s very sweet and dear in the interior :)
*Holy Hill in Hubertus Wisconsin - I really can’t do this justice by describing it! It’s one of
those you have to see to believe! It it on top of a hill (if you don’t like heights which Iâ€™m
not a fan of I would recommend using the elevator for the main church and just look
down at the ground until you walk inside) but it is WORTH IT to see! It is so picturquese!
There is a gorgeous Mary Help of Christians chapel, Lourdes shrine, beautiful church,
St. Therese chapel, etc. This one is a couple hours drive from the shrine in Champion
(the apparition approved shrine) so you could make a weekend of it :) It is definitely a top
*Cross in the Woods Indian River, MI - multiple shrines to St. Peregrine ,St Francis, The
Holy Family, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and Our Lady of the Highway. Of course it is famous
for the the Crucifix which is 28 feet tall from head to toe and if Iâ€™m not mistaken is the
largest in the world or the second largest. It is truly a sight to behold! This is in close
location to Mackinac Island where St. Anne’s is (less than an hour apart).
Most of these places I mentioned have websites so feel free to visit them and see photos and
learn more because they are amazing!!!! Add them to your bucket list they are well worth it :)
Have a blessed day sisters :) - Ally Hynes